How Can News Organizations Engage Their Audience Better With Alexa?


Years ago network television, city newspapers, and magazine conglomerates held a monopoly on readers’ eyes and ears. In just a few years, the internet and low-cost, easy-to-use web builders like WordPress changed all that.

Now anyone can publish their own news quickly and easily. And they are. Local news, sports, political ideas of all flavors, investment insights, or whatever writers are passionate about—all of it is available in a few clicks.

That’s the problem facing news organizations today. Readers need to be in front of a screen. Smartphones are ubiquitous, but smartphone obsession makes you sick, makes you blind, ruins relationships, and might be illegal in France. People need another way to consume your content.

In fact, people spend much more time away from a screen than you might think. Meanwhile, smart speaker use is rapidly on the rise. With devices like the Alexa and the billions of Alexa-ready smartphones and tablets, you’re hearing “Alexa…” more and more each day.

You work hard to create your news. So why let it just sit on the screen?

Good news: you just signed up a new team member to help you get your content out to your audience with voice. She works twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. She never takes a day off. Yes, her name is Alexa.

Your to-do list is packed. That’s why Shoutworks connects directly to your website and intelligently transfers your existing content to Alexa. Now no matter where your audience is, they can hear your news.

But there’s even more…

If your site is on WordPress, you can get your new Alexa presence up and running inside the admin panel you already use. Shoutworks is a WordPress plugin, so no need to learn a whole new system.

There are a few new ways to engage your audience:

You can use Quotes of the Day to delight people and get them thinking about bigger issues. The kind of issues that could set your publication apart from the others. How about something like this:

“Were it left to me to decide if we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.”  –  Thomas Jefferson – American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father who served as the third president of the United States from 1801 to 1809.

Sometimes all it takes is the right thought provoking and even possibly controversial words to get someone talking about your publication. You can make that happen.

Even when you are busy researching and writing your next article, Alexa can keep your audience informed, excited, and engaged.

You can use a Flash Briefing to be sure people know what is at the top of your most read articles list and possibly get people to stop by your live website later for the full articles:

“So far today these stories are trending…  The City council today passed a directive to make street parking around the shopping district free on weekends and holidays.  The State University, our areas biggest employer, needs to cut its budget by ten percent. whose jobs are at risk? Traffic accident deaths are down this year. What do the statistics tell us on why you are driving safer? For these stories and much more see our City News website.”

Another clever way to use the Flash Briefing feature could be to run audience polls:

“Yesterday’s poll on where to get the best Pizza in town went to Christiano’s Pizza. Where else can you get barbecued chicken or a lobster Pizza? Today’s poll should get you excited… For the last one hundred and thirty-seven years alcohol sales have been prohibited on voting days. What do you think? Should this be struck down? Why not get a cold beer after voting? To tell us what you think use the Support feature here and say, “Let me drink!” or “Keep it dry”. We will tell you how the poll turns out tomorrow. ”

Your audience will start to depend on these Flash Briefings to keep up with what’s going on. You can also use daily flash briefings on Alexa to string together a five or more briefings a week on a single subject, almost like a mini-podcast. Plus, it’s delivered by Alexa herself.

Podcasts are great, but they’re a pain to produce. With Shoutworks you just type your message and it is automatically converted into the lovely voice of Alexa. You set the date and time for the message to be released so you can do them a week or more in advance.

One way you can use the Shoutworks Deal Of The Day function is to highlight your advertisers. They are already paying for space somewhere in publication. You can offer this as a sweetener:

“Maybe you need some help working through your household to-do list. Maybe you’re itching to do some spring cleaning even when it’s not spring. You aren’t alone anymore. Your local Merry Maids Team is ready to lend a hand. No project is too small or too big.  Either call them at (434) 336-3498 or use the Support feature here to send this message, “Get me a Maid”. We will get back to you by email with the details on a special offer for this week only.”

Remember, your people may not always be in front of a computer to read your publication or be able call you or type out a message. So if they have any of the 4 Billion plus Alexas or Alexa-ready devices, your clients can talk to you any time.  It’s almost like Ms. Alexa is your personal assistant, accepting and forwarding messages to you 24/7/365.

And you can do all of this right now, right from your website. You don’t need any special skills or a technology budget to invest in development. With a few clicks in Shoutworks, Alexa devices all over the world will say what you want.

Your first 30 days are free. We are here to help, so you can cancel at any time and you’re completely covered by our Shoutworks Satisfaction Guarantee.

There is so much more to Shoutworks but as a minimum Alexa will read your blog articles, and she’ll do it in a surprisingly pleasant tone and rhythm. It fits right into your current content creation activities—you don’t have to change a thing.

You started you publication because you have something to say. Now with Shoutworks you can really be heard.

What wonderful new audience could you attract with the help of 200+ million Alexas and 4 Billion Alexa-ready devices?

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